Friday, July 28, 2006

I'm Thinking About You, Mrs. Mackey

I've been following the news about the trial of David Gilley, who is accused of killing Laura Salmon back in 1984. I started high school that year, so Laura's death was a big topic among students a couple of years older than me. Because I did not know her, however, I never really had more than a passing interest in the conversations.

When I became a senior, Laura's mother, Lourene Mackey, was my English teacher. Let me tell you that she was a fabulous teacher! I learned how to write a research paper in her class, and I think her meticulous instruction is what helped me to succeed in college English. I won't say that Mrs. Mackey was necessarily an inspiration to my becoming an English teacher--several factors played a role in that decision--but she had a great teaching style that made me want to be in class. And I can't say that the way she carried herself through her grief was inspiring to me either because I wasn't really that aware of the situation back then. But looking back on it, I have a real respect for her for carrying on with life and making sure that her students learned what they needed to know, and I hope that this trial can bring a speedy conclusion to a long chapter in her life.

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